By Dr. C. M. Seth
Supreme Court, taking cognizance of the large number of deaths of pilgrims while on Shr..
Continued from... Propaganda v/s Facts: Gujarat police turned a blind eye to the riots?
Fact: The police was slow to act on Muslim fanatics for fear of being called ‘anti-Muslim’ by the media. As many as 170 people were shot dead by the police in Gujarat- i.e. killed in police firing. Muslims greeted the police, and also the army, with bullets and turned off the power supply, and also started riots and accused the police of being biased, when the police came to search for armories in Muslim areas. For fear of being labeled anti-Muslim, the police failed to do their duty.
The India Today (6th paragraph) dated 20 May 2002 says - ”A series of attacks on policemen by Muslims has further added to the lack of faith. Now, strapped with the anti-Muslim label, the police has been slow in acting against Muslim fanatics”.
After 3rd March 2002, the riots were mostly all instigated and started by the Muslims and they were limited only to Ahmedabad, Vadodara and some places near Godhra in Panchmahal district. Far from the BJP being in any way involved in the riots, the political rivals of Narendra Modi instigated all the riots in the state after 21st April 2002 so as to target Narendra Modi in its Modi-hatao campaign. The Rajya Sabha debated on Gujarat on 6 May 2002. The NDA allies’ votes were also going to count. To get NDA allies to vote against the Modi government, the Congress wanted to keep the riots going on in Gujarat. It also hoped for a collapse of the NDA, with allies quitting coalition because of the riots.
Riots in the first three days were all the result of Godhra. But Godhra itself was the brain of local Muslim Congress leaders. The Indian Express of March 5 2002 reported on Godhra that Congress leaders are accused in Godhra:
1. Mehmud Hussain Kalota, convenor of the Congress district minority cell and president of the Godhra municipality.
2. Salim Abdul Ghaffar Sheikh, president of the Panchmahal Youth Congress.
3. Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia, a known Congress worker.
4. Faroukh Bhana, secretary of the district Congress committee.
5. Haji Bilal, a known Congress worker.
When 31 people were convicted for Godhra roasting, 2 Congressmen were given LIFE IMPRISONMENT and 1 was given DEATH penalty out of the above 5. Abdul Rehman Abdul Majid Ghantia and Farroukh Bhana have got life imprisonment and Haji Bilal has got death penalty – 3 out of these 5.
Riots were caused after Godhra by the media and the Congress’ inflammatory response to Godhra. Gujarat Congress chief and former Gujarat Chief Minister (the late) Amarsinh Chaudhary justified Godhra on some sort of provocations, i.e. the karsevaks not paying for tea and snacks at the Godhra railway platform which was a figment of his imagination.
The TV channels reported biased and one-sided on the post-Godhra riots, causing tremendous anguish among the masses, causing more and more violence. Their reporting was inflammatory not only after Godhra, but also after post-Godhra.
As for the political rivals’ hand in organizing riots in Gujarat, it is worth seeing the report of rediff.com on 22nd April 2002 including statements by Goerdhan Zadaphia:
“Yesterday’s riots in Ahmedabad’s Gomtipur and Rakhiyal area were planned,” Zadaphia told rediff.com “The Congress and the minority community do not want peace. The Congress wants to break the NDA alliance in Delhi by fuelling riots in Gujarat. Political parties in India are in the race for appeasing the minorities. They will not say a word against the Jama Masjid imam’s speech yesterday, where he incited Muslims to break India.”
According to Zadaphia, the Congress plan is “to continue the rioting, raise the issue in Parliament, force the NDA partners to raise their voices and, in turn, force the Modi government to resign”.
Corporators like Badruddin Sheikh and Taufik Pathan and their sons were leading the crowd, he alleged. “The crowd wanted to attack the colonies and kill as many as they can,” he said. “It was a serious attack. The railway tracks were full of people with bombs and weapons in their hands.”
Asked about six Muslims being shot by the police at point-blank range, he retorted, “What do you expect the police to do when Amar Patil, my constable, was stabbed to death just outside the masjid? At another place six SRP [State Reserve Police] men were injured when the minority crowd attacked them? Do you have any idea of the impact on the morale of the police?”
Zadaphia claimed that Pathan and Sheikh were bent upon disrupting the current high school exams. “They are harassing Muslim students,” he said. “In relief camps and Muslim areas they have announced on loudspeakers that Muslim students shall give college exams, but not the 10th and 12th standard exams.”
The minister said the ‘disruptive elements’ were upset because 98 percent of students have appeared in the exams. “Their supporters are forcing students to get down from buses provided by the government,” he claimed. “They are tearing away the entry receipts of the students. What does this mean?”
Even The Hindu reported that 5 leaders of the Congress were instigating Muslims to boycott the exams- along with the radical Muslim organization- Tableeghi Jamaat. Also the Justice Tewatia Committee report says that Narendra Modi’s charge that the Congress is instigating violence may well be true.
We’ve already reported how Gujarat Police had saved thousands of Muslims in the first few days. An entire account of the steps taken by the government has also been published at: " How government controlled riots in 3 days "
Continued at ... Propaganda v/s Facts - Did VHP organize the riots?
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